Parallel Sessions 1.1 to 1.6
Michael Jubb (Research Information Network, UK): Challenges for libraries in difficult economic times
There has been much discussion over the past 18 months about the financial difficulties that academic libraries are facing, and expect to face in the next few years. A number of bodies including the American Library Association, UKSG, and JISC in the UK have begun to gather evidence on these issues. But there has been little in the way of attempts to consolidate and analyse this evidence systematically to draw an accurate picture of the actual experience of libraries from across the sector, or their plans for dealing with the prospect of cuts in their budgets.
This presentation draws on the work referred to above, as well as evidence from an international survey from the Charleston Observatory; from detailed analyses of library statistics from the UK, the US and Europe; and from a series of interviews and focus groups undertaken by the RIN and the CIBER team at UCL where the available evidence was considered in depth by a wide range of library directors and senior university managers in the UK, as well as with senior representatives of the publishing community. In the UK we are moving from a decade in which library budgets rose significantly – though not as fast as university budgets overall – to one where libraries are being asked to model cuts of 5-10% a year over the next three years. Such cuts cannot be made simply by seeking efficiency savings, important as those might be. Many directors are thus looking radically at the nature as well as the levels of service they can provide in support of their universities’ teaching, learning and research missions.
The presentation thus presents evidence on trends and prospects for the future in such areas as
- efficiency savings, what has been and what might be achieved, both by individual libraries and in partnerships with other libraries
- the balance between content provision, staffing and services
- the provision of books and journals, in both print and digital form, and the costs of that provision,
- staffing levels, structures, and re-structuring
- service provision including areas such as opening hours as well as newer areas of activity such as support for open access initiatives, and data curation and preservation
- income generation to support library services.
Many library directors are seeking ways of dong things differently, and see budget cuts as an opportunity to rethink what the library does and what it means. But there are as yet few concrete proposals that will transform services or yield large-scale savings. The presentation will thus also review, in the light of the current financial climate, the various steps that are being taken to develop a closer understanding of the relationships between expenditure on library activities and services on the one hand, and learning and research outcomes on the other.
Michael Jubb is Director of the Research Information Network (RIN). He has held a variety of posts, as an academic; an archivist; a civil servant; Deputy Secretary of the British Academy; and as Deputy Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), which he led through its transition to full Research Council status. In 2005 he took up the Directorship of the RIN, which has been set up to investigate how to improve the information resources and services available to and used by UK researchers across all disciplines, in science, technology and medicine as well as the arts and humanities.
Christy Henshaw (Wellcome Library, UK): A digital library feasibility study
Over the next 5 years the Wellcome Library plans to transform itself into a ground-breaking digital library, with rich, dynamic content being made available around a series of strategic themes. The first of these themes is “Modern Genetics and its Foundations.”
The Library’s draft digitisation strategy is highly ambitious, not only in its scale – to digitise over 30 million pages in five years – but also in its vision for how these items will be accessed and displayed. Specifically, the aim is to create a single repository, which will hold images, full-text material, archives, videos, audio files, born digital archival materials, with a presentation layer for users that is rich and engaging, and one that embraces Web 2.0 functionality. The creation of this will be underpinned by a workflow system that efficiently manages content in the Digital Library from digitisation and the creation of METS files.
This presentation discusses the outcome of a Feasibility Study centred around the implementation of a Digital Library at the Wellcome Library. In particular, the Study looks at the interoperability and integration between systems including a back-end digital asset management system (Tessella’s Safety Deposit Box) with attached storage, a front-end delivery system, the use of METS to manage delivery of content, a full-text database with search engine, a workflow management system, and the Library catalogues (Calm and Millennium).
A proof-of-concept was commissioned to practically demonstrate the feasibility of the system architecture, while the primary output – a comprehensive report - sets out a clear set of requirements these systems will need to support to ensure that they can fully interoperate with each other, and can effectively manage the digital content created by the digitisation programme.
The systems or aspects of the Digital Library addressed by the Feasibility Study are as follows:
- DAM: To evaluate and test the use of Safety Deposit Box, which is currently configured to manage born digital content and preserve it against format obsolescence, for managing the digitised content and to determine what customisation may be required
- Full text indexing and search engine: To look at options for storing and searching full-text data, and understand how the database fits into the wider infrastructure of the Digital Library.
- Use of METS files: To develop a working model of a METS file to meet the purpose of the Digital Library, and to explore options for creation and management of METS files. Sample METS files were created as part of the Delivery system proof-of-concept (see 5, below).
- Workflow system: To determine what requirements should be considered for the workflow system, and how it will be used as part of the digitisation workflow and to create and administer METS files.
- Delivery system: To test provision of online access to digitised content via the DAM and METS files. A proof-of-concept was developed to test the basic functions of interoperability.
As a result of this Study, the Library has a clear idea of how its digitisation activity, the long-term management of digital content, and its dissemination can be seamlessly integrated to provide greater access to, and use of, its digitised holdings.
Christy Henshaw has managed the Wellcome Library’s digitisation programme since 2007. Current challenges include the move to large-scale digitisation - starting with a project to digitise half a million pages of archival material, helping establish the Wellcome’s Digital Library infrastructure, copyright clearance and sensitivity issues, and the Wellcome’s move to JPEG 2000 as a long-term master image format. Prior to the Wellcome, Christy spent six years working on a number of library and archive projects as a digital photographer and project manager whilst completing her PhD in Archaeology.
John MacColl (RLG - OCLC Research, UK): Library roles in university research assessment
This paper will present the results of a recent OCLC Research commissioned study: 'A Comparative Review of Research Assessment Regimes in Five Countries and the Role of Libraries in the Research Assessment Process'. It will look at research assessment regimes in the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Australia, comparing them and considering the roles that research libraries play within them. The paper will conclude with some reflections upon best practice for libraries in supporting research assessment within their institutions, and in their contribution to cultures of research excellence.
John MacColl is European Director, RLG Partnership, OCLC Research. He works specifically with the RLG European Partners, and also with other library and memory organizations across Europe. His research focus is in the area of research information management, research assessment and scholarly communications.
Previously, John headed the Digital Library at the University of Edinburgh. His career has spanned higher education libraries, information services and academic IT. He founded the UK digital library journal ARIADNE in 1996, and has directed and participated in many JISC-funded projects. He has served on the boards of several UK research library task forces and working groups, and is currently a member of JISC's Information & Resources Committee. His publications include articles, book chapters, reviews and The institutional repository (Chandos, 2006).
John holds an MA in English Literature & Language from the University of St Andrews; a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship & Information Studies (CNAA) from Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology, Aberdeen; and an MEd from the University of Aberdeen.
Juan Gorraiz, Christian Gumpenberger (University of Vienna, Austria): Going beyond citations - SERUM: a new tool provided by library network
Citation metrics are well established (especially in Science, Technology and Medicine) to assess the impact of scientific output. With the growing availability of e-journals, usage metrics of digital libraries and repositories have become an interesting alternative to citation metrics and allow viewing scholarly communication from the user’s perspective. The correlation between both is highly dependent on the discipline’s publication output and has been well documented in several studies. Usage metrics can therefore be regarded complementary to citation metrics, reflect usage on a much broader scope and present an emerging field in bibliometric research.
Usage metrics offer several advantages:
1) automatic data recording at low cost, 2) convenient and immediate access to usage data, 3) general acceptance of downloads as proxy for usage, and 4) better consideration of less publication-intensive fields.
Issues to be sorted out are:
1) restricted availability of global data, 2) different access channels e.g. OA repositories versus publisher sites (mirrored content), and 3) risk of inflation by manual or automatic methods.
This paper suggests an approach to provide global availability of usage metrics supported by libraries and repositories. The goal is the provision of an analytical tool, Standardized Electronic Resource Usage Metrics (SERUM) comparable to the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), but using download instead of citation data.
Global data would be obtained from the publishers, assuming their willing contribution in order to benefit from newly established evaluation criteria for periodicals beyond the JIF and a consequential strengthening of their products. Single publishers are not in the right position to offer such services, as self-beneficial data manipulation cannot be excluded.
Therefore the implementation of an international network of digital libraries and repositories with a sound disciplinary coverage will be established in order to obtain, manage and check the apparent authenticity of the data delivered by the publishers. It will act as a clearing centre operated by independent information specialists to guarantee data integrity as well as curation according to a standardised format. Furthermore, its internationally distributed members should also track and manage local usage data, reflect local trends, and relate these to the global publishers’ data.
Moreover this network will be responsible for offering a regularly updated version of compiled download counts, for calculating the basic indicators as usage impact factor, immediacy index, half-life and any further metrics of interest, and for producing the according journal rankings.
These anticipated services will be accessible via a cooperative website hosted and maintained by the Vienna University Library. Primarily designed for journals analysis they can of course be extended to serials and e-books. The outcome is a new complementary instrument for the evaluation of electronic resources going beyond citations.
Juan Gorraiz studied physics at the University of Madrid and at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his Doctor’s degree. He is Head of the Document Delivery Services of the Central Library for Physics and of the Bibliometrics Department of the Library and Archive Services, University of Vienna. He is working on bibliometric analysis and studies since 1992 and is furthermore teaching at the university course „Library and Information Studies“. He has been organizer and programme chair of the „10th International Conference on Science & Technical Indicators“ 2008 in Vienna, and is steering committee member of esss (European Summer School for Scientometrics).
Christian Gumpenberger has a Doctor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the Danube University Krems. He was Head of the Department of Public Services and Reference Librarians at the University Library of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Head of the Novartis Knowledge Center Vienna as well as Global Project Manager for the Novartis Institutional Repository Project & Open Access Champion at Novartis.
He currently runs his own information consultancy business focussing on project management in the field of new trends in scholarly communication, especially Open Access. Furthermore he is a member of the Bibliometrics Department of the Library and Archive Services, University of Vienna and in charge of the esss (European Summer School for Scientometrics) administration.
Panos Georgiou, Giannis Tsakonas (University of Patras, Greece): Digital scholarly publishing and archiving services by academic libraries – The case study of University of Patras
During the last years, the dramatic changes in electronic publishing landscape have created new roles and changed the traditional ones. Libraries nowadays have capitalized their experience and knowledge in information technology and electronic publishing to undertake such activities, while they spearhead the campaign for Open Access spreading within academic communities.
The Library & Information Center (LIC) of the University of Patras (UoP), Greece, has been playing an active role in promoting Open Access in Greece the last years. Since 2007, LIC has been experimenting with OA publishing practices and tools within the framework of various R&D projects. Two out of the major results of these efforts are:
- the “Pasithee” e-publishing platform (xantho.lis.upatras.gr/pasithee/)
- the “Dexameni” digital archive for Greek scholarly journals (xantho.lis.upatras.gr/dexameni/)
Both platforms are based on OJS-Open Journal Systems e-publishing software. The two installations are appropriately modified to meet LIC’s publishing and archiving requirements respectively. Currently two journals are being hosted in each platform, all four belonging in the Humanities, while LIC is in negotiations with more publishers and editorial teams to host their journals in LIC’s services accordingly.
In this presentation we focus on the:
- technical and managerial key issues of the development and operation phases,
- services and procedures,
- adopted business model of the services,
- interesting technological, procedural and legal issues and problems that were raised from working together with publishers, editors and authors, and
- future plans for improving and upgrading our e-publishing services in an integrated institutional platform to cover all kinds of publications and data types (monographs, conference proceedings, teaching material, bulletins, magazines etc.)
The paper concludes with a succinct presentation of the Directory of Greek Digital Resources (www.lis.upatras.gr/Libworld/collections/search.php) a pilot infrastructure developed by LIC, which indexes and presents digital publishing initiatives in Greece and aims to become a formal registry for Greek scientific resources in digital format.
Giannis Tsakonas holds a BSc in librarianship and a PhD in information science from the Department of Archives and Library Sciences, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. He is member of the User Support Department of the Library & Information Center, University of Patras, Greece, while he has been member of the development team of LIC's digital library services. His tasks in the team have provided him an opportunity for research into the role of the digital library as information infrastructure in the academic environment. He has been actively involved in many national and European digital library projects, while he is national editor in Greece for E-LIS, the international subject repository on librarianship and information science.
Ronald M. Schmidt (Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany): Aggregation of library statistics and performance indicators on a European level - what is already there and what has to be done
This paper reports on national library statistics in the countries of LIBER membership that are already accessible by open access and provides an overview on tasks to create an aggregation to make these data comparable: crosswalk of definitions, standardisation, performance indicators. It will also glance at a network of collaborators to be established to provide LIBER members with as much outcome of the project they are expecting. A stepwise solution is suggested.
Since 2007, Ronald M. Schmidt is Head of the German Library Statistics based at the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum (hbz, Academic Library Center) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Cologne, Germany. Since 1990 he was responsible at hbz for library services, the union catalogue, and local library systems.
After his studies in German languages and literature and in pedagogy he graduated to a Ph.D. with a thesis on late medieval German Minnereden. His training as an academic librarian in Bonn and Cologne was followed by a couple of posts at university libraries in Bonn and Heidelberg (Nachlass librarian, public relations, library systems coordinator). He was involved in many projects of library IT over the years and presented on many library conventions nationally and internationally.